I am finally settled back to normal routine after my amazing vacation (although I’m tired again already, but that’s another story). Although I travel often, I’m not a good “vacationer”, and I’ve found this to be the case with many folks in this industry. I’m that person that’s checking my blackberry over the holidays and when I’m out of town. There may not even be a lot happening, it’s just a habit. So over the past few years I’ve learned to really allow myself to be ”On Vacation”, and through trial and error I’ve learned a few lessons during my travels (including this most recent trip). I present to you, Boogie’s Vacation Tips:
1. Take the day off before you leave: I used to work the day before I left and the day after I returned, and I would just be beat down. You end up trying to cram shopping, packing, laundry, and other random to-do list items into after work hours and it makes you nuts. Then you have to do it all in reverse when you get back. It cancels out the vacation itself. Due in part to the fact that I had a crazy week prior to leaving, I gave myself a buffer before and after the trip, and it made a world of difference. Well, the day off after returning didn’t really work out as planned, but we’ll get to that.
2. Know yourself: If you have an early am flight, and you know you can’t go to sleep, don’t go to sleep! My flight was at 5:30 am, which meant I needed to be at the airport at 3:30am. Now I do well if it’s jus an hour or two nap, but any more than that and I would have been rolling the dice on waking up on time. As it was, I kept pressing “snooze” and finally figured I should get up and go to the airport. It’s better to be at the gate early and nap there than miss your whole joint. I have a friend who missed a flight by thinking she could close her eyes for 30 minutes before her car came. It took her a whole day to finally get to her destination. Last year I went to a party and a 12:30am showing of a movie before heading to the airport. Whatever you need to do to, do it.
3. Dress for travel, not for your destination (especially @ 5:30 in
the dang morning): I never really understand when I see people in full wardrobe and makeup at the airport when it’s still dark out. Are you really gonna get it poppin’ that hard when you first get to wherever you’re going? I can understand a little later in the day, maybe, but at 5am, all you want to do is get on the plane and sleep. You can still be cute in leggings and Havaianas. It’s ok. Really.
4. Don’t check all your essentials. The carry on is your friend: As a chronic overpacker, I learned this lesson the hard way last year when my luggage was delayed by almost a day. Now, I’ll admit that the liquid and gel restrictions have made it much harder to do carry on only when you’re going anywhere for more than a couple of days, but this year I checked one bag and kept one bag, and it paid off (more on that later).
5. Be prepared for the flight (blanket, earplugs, etc): Again, especially when you’re talking about early morning travel, and especially if it’s a long flight, you should plan for your comfort. Sadly, in this age of airline travel, the carriers no longer cater to our in-flight comfort needs. So have a blanket, a travel pillow, earplugs for noisy kids on the plane, and even an eye mask if that’s your thing, and settle in and get the sleep you missed staying up all night to catch your flight.